Today, it’s system overload with a capital “O.” Info coming at you from everywhere!! And the bombardment continues with your actions and others’ actions around you. It’s very easy to get lost in all of this. Lost in not knowing where you are or what you are doing, and as you get older, believe me it gets worst. Ever find yourself in the wrong place because you were in ‘autopilot’?? I have seen so many drivers make right or left turns from the wrong lane, without thinking of what would happen when they tried to make it right…for themselves. No thought that the on-coming car or car next to them, only the thought of getting to right place NOW!! Heaven forbid that should take the extra step and go around the block or go to the next signal and make a U-turn. No it has to be NOW!! That’s the “NOW” Generation for you, made up of all drivers of all ages.
How do cut down the ‘fog?’ Well, if you train yourself to be alert and aware of your surroundings, you can prevent accidents from happening. Personal experience in this awareness has allowed me to prevent many, many accidents from occurring which was a result of a period when I wasn’t so aware. By being aware, helps you maneuver through life (and other people) without the chance of actually running into each other and personal injury. It’s essential to keep an eye open to what’s going around you to what is normal, and not, and an ear open for abnormal sounds for that time or place.
I learned early in life how important it was to be aware. Coming home from UCLA, I noticed a car following me from the freeway. That car started weaving back and forth across the lanes to get behind me. Bong! My inner alarm went off and my fear told me to get home as soon as possible. So I sped home and pulled into the driveway across the street to backup into my driveway. But that car came and blocked me. Fortunately, my grand uncle was standing in the front of our house and saw the car and yelled for the driver to move! With reluctance the driver did but told my uncle to tell me to stay away from her husband and not go drinking with him at the bar!! My uncle could tell she was drunk and told her to leave or he would call the police. I shudder to think if I was there by myself without my uncle; I thank the Lord I didn’t have to find out. But that was my first being ‘aware’ lesson.
The main focus of driving should be…how to get to a destination safely without any incidents. But tell that to a lot of drivers that turn on their radios and entertain themselves by singing at the top of their lungs or talking or texting on their phones even though it is against the law. Or possibly holding conversations with their passengers and not paying attention to their driving. That’s how those drivers end up on wrong streets or in the wrong lanes and immediately correct the error with what I call ‘selfish driving.’ Why don’t drivers remember that they are manipulating a machine that is capable of killing?? Plain fact. Driving is a fantastic convenience, but dangers associated with it are presented with each moment one is behind the wheel that have been forgotten.
Then there is your personal safety. You can’t control what others do, but you can prevent personal harm from some of their intentional (or not) detrimental actions if you just open your eyes and ears. There was an elderly man at a Farmers Market in Santa Monica, CA who hit his gas pedal instead of the brakes and lost control of the car, killing and injuring several people. Truly a sad situation. Just using proper reactions to loud engine noises, screaming, screeching tires, and the list goes on and on, those people might have saved their lives or injury. Bottom line…”be aware.”
Another example of awareness involved accident scams I heard about. The scam involved a scam driver suddenly pulling in front of a victim’s car, which caused the victim to crash into the scam driver. It is the scam driver’s word against the victim driver, who is now at fault. And to top it off, the scam driver might also conveniently have passengers who are then witnesses that the victim driver was at fault, plus their ‘accident injuries’ led to a settlement from the victim’s insurance company, which added up. Just be aware of the ‘big picture’ around you and notice how the other drivers are driving. True, many drivers are driving properly, but it is always that 10% that get can you and in the worst way.
So remember how your driving affects you too. A gorgeous beauty queen ending her chances of ever winning another beauty contest title by texting to a friend while she was driving. Just one text and that was it. Why?? Was it that important?? A friend of mine Stephanie was driving and fell asleep at the wheel because she was tired but wanted to get home. Not so bad if she was on an open road. But she wasn’t, so she didn’t turn and ran right into a steel pole…which led to stitches all over her face and up her arm which she has permanent markings today. Stephanie was lucky that she ended up with stitches and not a grave marker. I know, morose to think about that, but everything has a reason. She learned her lesson to not drive while tired to stay alive. Hope someone reading this will too.